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~O Worship The King


   This hymn, written and published in 1833, has often been called a model hymn for worship. It has few equals in expressive lyrics and in the exaltation of the Almighty.

   Each of the epithets applied to God (King, Shield, Defender, Ancient of Days, Maker, Redeemer, Friend), as well as the vivid imagery (such as, His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form and the references to His attributes, power, might, grace, bountiful care, love)—all combine to describe with literary eloquence and spiritual warmth the majesty and praiseworthiness of our God.

   The writer, Sir Robert Grant, was born into a setting of high political life in India, in 1779. His father was a director of the East India Company. Later he became a member of the British Parliament from Scotland, and eventually was appointed Governor of Bombay.

   Robert was a devout and deeply spiritual evangelical Christian all his life. Though involved in secular and political pursuits, Robert Grant maintained a strong interest in the missionary outreach of the church throughout his lifetime.

   He was greatly loved by the people of India, who established a lasting memorial there in the form of a medical college bearing his name. In 1839, a year after his death in India, his brother, Charles, published this hymn.

—Kenneth Osbeck

 

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O Worship the King [1]

1           O worship the King All glorious above!

Oh gratefully sing His power and His love!

Our shield and Defender, The Ancient of Days,

Pavilioned in splendour, And girded with praise

2           O, tell of His might Oh, sing of His grace!

Whose robe is the light, Whose canopy space;

His chariots of wrath form The deep thunderclouds

And dark is His path On the wings of the storm

3           The earth with its store Of wonders untold

Almighty! Thy power Hath founded of old:

Hath stablished it fast By a changeless decree;

And round it hath cast Like a mantle, the sea

4           Thy bountiful care What tongue can recite?

It breathes in the air, It shines in the light;

It streams from the hills, It descends to the plain,

And sweetly distills in The dew and the rain

5           Frail children of dust And feeble as frail—

In Thee do we Trust Nor find Thee to fail:

Thy mercies how tender, How firm to the end!

Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend1

6           O measureless Might1 Ineffable Love!

While angels delight To hymn Thee above,

The humbler creation, Though feeble their lays,

With true adoration Shall sing to Thy praise

 



[1]Eckert, Paul, Steve Green’s MIDI Hymnal, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

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